Scientific Name: Tabanus australicus
Size: Total Length 13 mm
What does it look like?
The March Fly is solidly built with large reflective, iridescent eyes, which meet in the middle in males. The eyes are larger than those of the Stable Fly, and are green in the female and reddish-brown in the male.
Where is it found?
Warmer parts of Australia, including Qld, NSW, Vic, WA and NT.
What are its habitats & habits?
The March Fly favours moist forests and woodlands, particularly in the vicinity of water. The females drink blood to provide protein for her eggs to develop, and slice through the victim’s skin with sharp mouthparts. Males feed on nectar and other plant secretions. Bites are painful and can produce itchiness, lesions, urticaria, cellulitis and fever. Allergic reactions can also occur in some individuals, with symptoms including wheezing, hives, muscle weakness and potential anaphylaxis.
This species features in my book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Insects of Australia